Marcus Kent is a brilliant lawyer and loving son, brother and husband. He is handsome and muscular, standing at about 6’4″ tall, which can be dangerous for a man with his skin tone.
Education, economic comfort and leading the life of a law-abiding citizen doesn’t insulate Marcus from police who see his stature and Blackness as a threat. In the excerpt below , after a horrible fight with his wife, Marcus has a run-in with police while he’s minding his business in the hall of his friend, Quinn’s apartment building.
Sweet Love – Bitter Fruit
By Lyndell Williams
$ 2.99, 332pp, Kindle
$12.99, 343pp, Paperback
Genre: Urban Professional Romance
Marcus opened his eyes and jumped at the poke on his arm. He blinked and looked up and moaned. Great. Two uniformed police officers loomed over him looking none too pleased. “What’re you doing in the hall?” asked a cop with a thick mustache. “You live here?” The cop grumbled and jabbed him harder.
He rose and balanced on his weary legs, making sure to keep his hands away from his pockets, which can get someone with his skin tone killed. “I’m just waiting for a friend.”
Both of their eyes widened as they looked up at him. He knew that look. It meant no matter what, he was in for some bullshit. “We got a call about a wild man yelling like he was on drugs or something.”
He remained still. “I haven’t seen anyone like that around here.” The dog stuck its head from the door down the hall. Spanish talking drifted from the apartment. The woman from earlier peeked out with wide eyes. It was damn clear who had called the cops.
“Let me see your ID.” They simultaneously put their hands on their batons.
His heart sped. He resisted wiping at the tiny beads of sweat tickling his brow. Any move at this point was a dangerous one. “Why do you need my ID?” The air rushed from out of his lungs and pain shot through his face where it hit the wall.
The cop twisted his arm around his back and smashed him against the wall. “Stop resisting.” The dog barked louder each time the officer yelled the command. “I said stop resisting.”
The cop kicked him in the ankle over and over until he buckled from the pain and went crashing to the floor. He heaved under the weight of the police officers. The woman glared at him and pulled her dog into the apartment. “Yo, am I under arrest?” Burning ripped through his shoulder. Every muscle tensed out of pure instinct. His nerves itched for him to spring up and throw off the cops’. It would be a mistake.
“Am I under arrest?” They went back and forth with the same questions until a cold handcuff locked around his wrist. He got his answer.
“Hey, what the hell are you doing?” Quinn’s yell drifted from the direction of the opening elevator. His sneakers almost touched Marcus’ nose. “Get off him.”
“Step back,” yelled the cop pushing his head against the dirty floor, “this doesn’t concern you.”
“I’m this man’s attorney, and I demand you tell me why he’s being detained.”
“We received a complaint about a loiterer.” The knee digging in his back stayed in place while the cop talked.
Coughing from the dust shooting into his nose, he tried to gasp air into his burning lungs but otherwise stilled his body—relieved that the LeBron’s stayed firmly planted next to him. Quinn, Simon and Faisal all learned the drill when it came to him and the police. Never leave him alone, and record as much as possible.
Quinn scoffed. “That’s my apartment. He’s my guest. I asked him to wait here for me. Release him now.”
He rose onto all fours and accepted his friend’s hand, trapping everything he wanted to say to the sneering cops with the bile in his throat.
“You okay, man?” Quinn’s lips were pressed into a thin line, his face reddened under this light brown skin.
“Yeah.” He patted the dirt from his clothes, never breaking his glare at the protect and serve duo.
“Like I said, we were checking on a complaint.” Mustache Cop hooked his cuffs on his belt. He and his partner snapped their holsters closed. His heart skipped. If Quinn hadn’t shown up, it was highly likely there would be guns in his face.
Quinn turned and stood between him and the officers. “I think you two should go find some real crime instead of harassing citizens minding their own business.”
Mustache Cop sized up Quinn. “Look here—”
“Let’s go.” His partner tapped his arm. “Tell your friend he’s too big and Black to be hanging around hallways.” The team strutted to the door down the hall.
Enjoy more suspense and steam from Marcus and Toni Kent. Click hereto get a copy of Sweet Love, Bitter Fruit.
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